Large areas of Hereford will become “low-traffic neighbourhoods” under wide-ranging new plans to rethink transport in the city.

Here motorised through-traffic will be “eliminated or dramatically reduced” by physically blocking road-ends while still giving access to residents, according to the newly published draft masterplan for Hereford, intended to guide the city’s development up to 2050.

Low-traffic neighbourhoods disincentivise short car trips, of which there are disproportionately many in Hereford, “instead enabling more efficient modes of transport for shorter trips, including walking, cycling and wheeling”, the document says.


It acknowledges this will mean some residents and businesses having to take different routes, which “will generally be less convenient” and “can be disruptive in the short term”.

It says evidence from elsewhere shows that such areas have to be large enough to not simply displace traffic onto other streets.

Low-traffic areas have already been introduced in other UK towns and cities, especially in London during the pandemic.

But they have not been universally welcomed by residents, who have held demonstrations against them in some areas over concerns including access for the elderly, disabled and emergency services.

Those planned for Hereford do not come with a commitment to lower speed limits. But this has often been the case elsewhere, including in Birmingham, where earlier this year an extension to the city scheme imposed a 20mph limit across new neighbourhoods.

Hereford Times: Proposed-LTNS-in-Hereford-coloured-tealProposed-LTNS-in-Hereford-coloured-teal (Image: Herefordshire Council)

Separated by Hereford’s main arterial roads, they would cover 26 neighbourhoods, together making up most of the city’s residential areas, according to a map with the draft plan.

But this shows that the measures would not be wholly new to Hereford, as extensive areas of the city already prevent through-traffic from streets and public spaces.

Interested in political goings-on in Herefordshire and beyond? Why not join our Herefordshire politics and local democracy Facebook group?

Or you can sign up for our weekly Herefordshire Politics e-newsletter, delivered free to your inbox every Friday.

The masterplan also proposes a three-way system of classifying more major roads in the city as either “streets”, “boulevards” and “thoroughfares”, with traffic in the first of these being limited to 20mph.

Here paving, crossings and shared surfaces would be used slow vehicles down and make the roads safer for pedestrians and for cyclists, who would have their own “advisory” lane. They would also have extra seating and greenery, including water-absorbing “rain gardens”.


Rather than coming into the city centre, people would be encouraged to use local hubs for everyday shopping and services, where such streets would be designed to “encourage people to linger”, including in cafes and bars, which would “spill out” onto them.

Herefordshire Council will be consulting with the city’s residents on these and other masterplan proposals later this year.

What are your thoughts?

You can send a letter to the editor to have your say by clicking here.

Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.